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Pickton's ploy

The notion that pig-farm serial killer could get off is preposterous

By ADAM CLAYTON
WINNIPEG SUN

Last Updated: 5th April 2009, 4:51am

Seems old Slick Willie is trying to pull another fast one on the justice system.

That would be serial killer Robert William (Willie) Pickton, who is responsible for some of the most horrific crimes in Canadian history.

Pickton was charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder after police found human heads and other grisly remains on his family's farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C., in 2002.

At his 2007 trial for a half-dozen of the killings, defence lawyers said Pickton was innocent but a jury eventually decided he was guilty on six counts of second-degree murder.

Last week, defence lawyers told the B.C. Court of Appeal the convictions should be overturned because jurors were confused about whether they could consider if Pickton had acted alone in killing drug-addicted sex trade workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Pickton certainly has a right to appeal his convictions, and lawyers cannot be faulted for doing their jobs. But the notion he isn't guilty of multiple murder stinks worse than a hog barn in a heatwave.

It's at least possible other people were involved in the deaths of Pickton's victims. At the appeal hearing last week the Crown admitted as much, saying the convictions should stand as long as the pig farmer took part in the murders, regardless of whether it was Pickton, Dinah Taylor -- who was arrested but not charged in the missing women case -- or someone else who did the actual killing.

But the idea Pickton isn't guilty of murder is preposterous.

This is the ghoul who told an undercover officer he killed 49 women and had planned to "make it an even 50".

Nothing prevented Pickton from taking the stand at trial to explain his statements, or the disturbing evidence found in his trailer.

If he was an innocent dupe as his lawyers would have us believe, you would think he would be eager to discuss everything he knows about the grotesque goings-on on his family's property.

Tight-lipped

If Pickton was but one of a number of people involved in the killings, you would think he would have tried to cut a deal with the Crown.

Instead he has remained tight-lipped. Even after his trial, no one except Pickton knows exactly what happened to his unfortunate victims.

He still faces 20 more counts of first-degree murder and the Crown has said he will be tried on 26 counts if the defence successfully appeals his convictions.

It's high time this grubby little pig farmer came clean about everything that happened on his property. The families of his victims deserve answers.

It's not like Pickton would be the first mass killer to do so.

In 2003 serial killer Gary Ridgway, a.k.a. the Green River Killer, pleaded guilty to 48 murders in neighbouring Washington state. In 2005 Dennis Rader, known as the BTK strangler, co-operated with authorities and confessed to killing 10 people in Wichita, Kan.

And just last week, a Quebec hitman already serving a life sentence for a 2001 murder pleaded guilty to 27 additional charges of first-degree murder.

During his trial, Pickton's lawyers portrayed him as a dim-witted pig farmer. Even if that's true, let's hope he can at least learn by example.

adam.clayton@sunmedia.ca

Copyright 2009 Winnipeg Sun All Rights Reserved

 

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Updated: August 21, 2016